Thursday, July 04, 2013

I Can Spy on You, But You Can't Spy on Me

It seems to me there are numerous essentially vassal states of the USA that adopt largely whatever measures the USA really presses them on - for security or enforcing extremely long and counterproductive copyrights (the system doesn't do what it was suppose to do - instead has been turned into a system to help a few big business copyright cartel companies that give USA politicians lots of cash) but he USA has pretty much dictated legislation to numerous other nations that have capitulated.

I don't have much info but my impression is that states like Canada, UK, Germany and Australia are pretty much going to let the USA have whatever it wants. If they seek to avoid being vassal states to the USA it seems to me you have to chose a legal system and government that have shown some ability to stand up to USA pressure. I have thought this would be a smart thing for some countries to do for years but I haven't noticed any countries interested in taking on this role.

Germans accuse U.S. of Stasi tactics before Obama visit. My guess is Germany does nothing, other than making a few harmless noises. Pretty much Europe has been limited to voicing a bit of displeasure occasionally but for anything that requires action they act like a vassal state and go along with the USA (which often means big USA campaign contributors). Maybe Germany, or others, will want to step out from the shadow they have been in basically since the end of World War II, but I doubt it. There just haven't been any significant examples.

My guess is eventually some nations will, but my guess it will be nations that are not so tied to the USA and that can play the USA and China against each other to refuse to be a vassal to either one (but that is just a wild guess). How much longer it will take is the question. Or maybe people will just end up choosing between which police state policies they want to accept USA, China or some other one. Maybe countries like Canada will be like flavors of Linux so Canada is USA vassal but actually refuses to go along with a couple minor points here or there (and if you care most about those minor points you chose Canada).

It will be interesting to see if any nation stands up to the USA spying on their citizens. It doesn't seem too likely - other than a few oddballs that don't expect the USA the USA could do anything more to them, short to attacking the country militarily, and figure that isn't likely. It is odd to hear the USA talk about China tech companies facilitating Chinese government spying and then give secret order that the USA tech companies (or librarians) are not allowed to disclose that result in spying on citizens of other countries (and citizens of the USA).

Other than might makes right I don't exactly understand the philosophical system the idea that "you can't spy on us but we of spy on whoever we want"?

Here is one example of the perniciousness of the spying: U.S. officials sent back to German Facebook-mails. If you want to argue that we have to ignore Jefferson, Franklin, Patrick Henry, etc. due to big huge scary risks you must not abuse the spying for trivial matters. Yes, government agencies get caught up in their own fear mongering and grabs for power (which is one reason most sensible people and bright people don't trust government to gain absolute power to spy on citizens) and start to believe silly things like their security theatre is related to what they said the constitution needed to be abandoned to protect us from big scary things. If you use the abdication of liberty to block people from violating minor rules (such as working without a permit - the link above) in my mind you forfeit the right to claim your constitution defying actions are needed for a more important purpose.

Related: Governments Shouldn't Prevent Citizens from Having Secure Software Solutions - Freedom Increasingly at Risk - Liberty Again Denied, It is Sad How Little We Seem to Care - Security Theatre Thinking is Damaging the USA (May 2013)

No comments: